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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Southpaw, in his post on Lil'gun, referenced the recent Linebaugh Seminar. Another interesting piece of information from that seminar is a result of the penetration tests. They found increasing bullet weight had significantly more impact than increasing velocity:

"Concentrating on the handgun loads, we note that the trend towards higher penetration with heavier bullets, given similar bullet construction, is almost universal while velocity didn’t have nearly the same effect. In both the .475 and .500, large increases in velocity netted relatively small increases in penetration. With the 420 grain LBT in the .475, a 27% velocity increase yielded a 17 ½% increase in penetration. With the .500 and the 435 LBT, a 27% increase in velocity produced a paltry 12% penetration gain. While these gains may be of great importance in certain cases, I think the added recoil will cause some of us to pause for reflection. Again considering the .500, a 14% increase in bullet weight from 435 to 495 resulted in a startling 37% gain in penetration. I am really looking forward to experimenting with the Cast Performance 525 grain LBTLFNGC."

I don't know that this will be any surprise to the James Gates of the world, but an interesting note for we "faster is better" faternity.

Respectfully,

Dan
 

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J.D. Jones made a similar statement in the last issue of American Handgunner. He said that increasing the velocity of a cast bullet doesn't increase it's killing power. I assume he was referring to performance after the point of total penetration of the animal. I don't buy this completely because it seems to assume that the bullet doesn't expand. He went on to say that increasing the velocity of jacketed bullets will increase their killing power. This time I object because it assumes the bullet does expand. I'm getting to be terribly cynical lately......
 

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This really isn't a surprise. Every bullet, regardless of composition, has a certain velocity threshold that if exceeded will adversely affect terminal performance. This can be expansion, penetration, integrity or a combination of all three.

Most of my bullet testing has been with cartridges intended for personal defense. (If you knew where I live, you'd know why.) My favorite handgun round is the .357 Magnum and I have tested it extensively in wetpack faced with leather, clothing, and other intermediate barriers that affect bullet performance.
As many of you may know, the 125-grain JHP has the best record in police shootings for "one-shot stops." Want to guess which loads give the best combination of penetration, expansion, and bullet integrity? Not the full power 1400 fps+ loads. Nope, in my tests the discontinued Remington "medium velocity" load did best. It outpenetrated the full power loads, consistently expanded to larger diameter without fragmentation regardless of intermediate barrier, and lost the least amount of bullet weight. All in a load 150-200 fps slower, with reduced muzzle blast and increased control,  than the vaunted full power 125-grain offerings.  This is just one example of how sometimes "slower is better."
 

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Any bullet that expands will use "energy" and as a result, will lose velocity in the transformation. The increased resistance of the now larger diameter bullet to penetrate(after expanding) will decrease it's velocity further thus controlling actual penetration depth. Up the weight with all other things the same and you will increase the penetration. Momentum.

With cast bullets on game, their mass and increase in weight and lack of expansion, increase their momentum. Sort of like a freight train at 60 MPH compared to a Yugo at the same speed. Which will be easier to stop?

In the test that Bill ran with the slower moving 357 bullet, the less expansion was the factor in the increased penetration, in effect, a defacto increase in Momentum.

I remember an article back in the 80's in G&A written by Seyfried. He stated in reference to the 45 Colt loads he was testing, Take a 350gr cast bullet at 1200 FPS and the Colt becomes a killer out of all proportion to a handgun. He also referred to John Linbaugh musing a bit about the great search for the "45 Swift" that was underway.

Your milaege may vary.

FWIW,

:cool:

(Edited by Contender at 10:51 am on July 7, 2001)
 

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Ray,

Actually the expansion with the medium load mentioned is greater than the full power rounds, which typically fragment. Thus it is a matter of retained weight that aids momentum. Many of the 1400 fps+ 125's I've tested weighed under 100 grains when removed from the wetpack media. The Remington M11 load holds together quite well.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #6
Perhaps you gentlemen can help me with what appears to be an anomaly? John Linebaugh is obviously a real straight arrow that knows of which he speaks. His articles, if I’m interpreting his information correctly, appear to stress mass coupled with moderate velocity for the best effect. Yet he manufacturers products (and publishes accompanying load data) that appear to not only offer the recommended mass, but stress what I would consider high velocity. He seems to advocate a ‘big .45Colt’ using heavy bullets at 1200fps, and at the same time gives the appearance of recommending .475/.500 caliber rounds at hundreds of feet faster.

I strongly suspect I’m missing something here – maybe the thin versus thick skinned critters?

Respectfully,

Dan
 

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Bill,

I agree, in effect you have a "heavier" bullet without fragmentation vs. a fragmenting/separating bullet losing it's weight and thus penetration.

Of course, you could just use the 175 gr. OWC and forget about physics.   :biggrin:

Regards,

:cool:

DOK,

That something your missing is called a can of worms that I'm not going to knock over at this time.

:biggrin:
 

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Dan,

Looks like I'll stick it in the fire yet again!

The big guns sell. .475's, .480's, .500's are all hot properties in the custom and now not-so-custom Ruger world. Folks are willing to pay big money and wait a long time for them, a sure sign the item is an economic winner for the gunsmith. But as you alluded to, that doesn't necessarily make them the cat's meow for most game. Short of elephant and such, for what do you really need a monster five-shooter? But like &#3610,000 stereo systems or Chevy Novas with 454's, need often plays no part in what the public wants.

So if someone wants to plop down a couple thousand bucks for a hand cannon that won't see any more dangerous game than watermelons or whitetails, all the more power to 'em. I think Mr. Linebaugh is a pretty decent guy to point this out, that you don't need one of his masterpieces to make Bullwinkle chops.
 

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I had read that article with great interest.

Since I have been playing with a RSRH .454 lately I have a question that relates (I think)

The .454 realy "moves em out" and seems made for speed. I think that equates into more of a long range hunting handgun. Ranges I cannot hit at for sure!

Since I was primarily interested in a close range gomp stomper, I think I would be best off using the extra cartrag space for lead rather than powder...thus attain bigger bullet, slower speed kind of mix

Did that make sense?

Scotty
 

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Scotty,

Yes you can certainly go in that direction and have very effective loads for the bigger game species like elk, moose, grizzly bear, etc. In my opinion such hunting calls for a good amount of lead to ensure adequate penetration from unpredictable angles. For whitetails, black bear and such, truthfully, I think the .454 is far more gun than needed. But as I said in my last posting to this topic, need and want are two different things. Enjoy your Super Redhawk regardless!
 

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Indeed, Gentlemen! This has been an interesting run! I sure some refreshing logic being applied to this question of velocity/penetration. Let me go back over some statements I have made in the past. First, I have proven to my satisfation that wound channel is caused by Velocity and Bullet Meplat. Also that Penetration comes from Velocity and Mass (Bullet Weight). Now....I feel that a balance of the two hits the "Sweet Spot" for killing power in all forms of game. If we go too heavy in bullet weight, wound channel falls. If we go too light, penetration falls. Many have not seen, from actual experience, the penetration of hard cast bullets in heavy game. It by far exceeds what most people think. I don't want to lose Wound Channel at the cost of more than adequate penetration!
These comments are for hard cast bullets. Jacketed bullets are an entire different set of rules. I have found that, in both the .44's and 45's, that a bullet weight of 250 to 280 grs at a velocity of 1200/1300 fps....gives a geart wound channel and tremendous penetration.
Again...I compliment everyone on their approach!
Best Regards, James
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter #12
James,

Your post is an excellent example of the advantage of "hands-on, real world" experience to help clarify
the laboratory tests and formulas.

Thanks,

Dan
 

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Bill,

Me and that .454 have a long ways to go! My reloading experience prior to that ol girl showing up was limited to Lee Loaders for my .357 and 45/70...the Lee Loaders are pretty "stupid proof"

I picked up an RCBS JR11 and dies for the .454 (and 38/.357)and proceded to make just about every mistake in the book (emphisis on "just about")

Thank God for the inertia bullet puller ;*)

I had a problem with some "factory" ammo in a 260 gr JFP that was shedding the jackets within the first 20 yards so I am not the only one still figguring out what the .454 will and will not do ;*)

On the bright side, I have not made the same mistakes twice and the ammo I am making now actually fits the chambers and goes BANG when I pull the trigger.

Recoil in the .454 is a bit beyond me still, and accuracy beyond 40 yds suffers.

I have a ways go go before I am confident enough to use the Casull in place of my 45/70. Of course, for that day in, day out "handyness" nothing will replace the .357 (at least at this point in my life)

All in all, I am enjoying the learning curve and will endeavor to continue untill such time as I can trust myself to utilize the .454 as intended.

Whitetail? I miss them things! Alaska needs a good "mid sized critter" (besides caribou). It seems that our game is either realy small (grouse, rabbits) or realy BIG (moose, bear). Caribou, God's most elegant creature, seem to cry out for the longbow and the wooden arrow.

All His Best,

Scotty
 

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I started a post, on advise on meplat comparison, and it kind of got carried away between Tim and Garrett. I don't have enough on hand live game bullet performance, so posted it. So it seems the 1200-1300fps is the way to go? Since I'm playing quite a bit with my .480, what would you advise as a good weight, in relation to your suggested weights in your .44 and .45 calibers? Thanks for any info! Dennis
 

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Dennis,

Great to hear from you!

With your .480 Ruger, it's a rather new ballgame.  The case capacity is significantly less than that of the .475 Linebaugh, so bullet weight selection will naturally be adjusted accordingly.

I know that Hodgdon and Accurate are both doing pressure testing with the 385 and 420 grain bullets originally intended for the .475 Linebaugh.  My initial thoughts when the dimensions were released to us on the .480, that even the 385 grain bullet would be somewhat over-weight for it's powder capacity in terms of velocities gained.

Too, I feel that the Hornady HP bullet is a tad bit on the light side, besides being a HP design.  I felt that the ideal weight would for the .480 Ruger would fall between 350 and .360 grains for the best balance of bullet weight to velocity, thus generating the optimum penetration potential for this new cartridge.

That was the premise that we acted upon when I ordered the mold for our current .480 Ruger bullet, which has come out to be a 355 grain LFN GC bullet.  So far it has proven superbly accurate, a great balance of weight to velocity and an all around fine choice of bullet for the .480 Ruger.

I chose to make the first bullet for this cartridge in an LFN profile, simply because the WFN's have been known to get a little on the unstable side at lower velocities in some applications.  If there seems to be enough demand for the bullet we have offered already, I'll surely go ahead and make up a WFN offering as well, although I'm not totally convinced that the extra meplat diameter is needed for game performance in N. America!

I'm not blowing our horn, but we were the very first to offer a bullet between the 325 grain Hornady and the well established 385 grain LBT LFN that other manufacturers have available in their offerings.  So far, customer response has been overwhelming, and I've not managed to keep ahead of the demand for the bullet.   Too, it seems that those who have ordered just a few boxes to try, have come back with orders for very significant numbers of them in the follow-up orders we receive.

I truly beleive that the best bullet weight for the .480 Ruger is indeed between 350 and 360 grains.

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Marshall,
Great to hear from you to, and your response!

Now I need to try your bullet! You may well be right on the weight you picked? How back logged are you on your bullet? let me know at [email protected] Have been using bullets from 310 grains on up to 420 grains so far. Who knows, Hornady, Speer and all the others, might follow your lead, with that weight bullet you put out? I know NEI has cataloged a 350 GC in their 2001 line? Great to hear from you again!

Dennis
 
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